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Curious if my boyfriend is an undiagnosed aspie

Discussion in 'Love, Relationships and Dating' started by lfields1, Jan 4, 2016.

  1. Tom

    Tom Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I based my impression on the picture you painted. And you certainly were not short in your list of the persons eccentricities. Advice in such situations is haphazard anyway. But if you only want that which is agreeable to you, so be it. I do caution you to be careful on giving too much weight to anyone's opinion. You do not know who they are. It is best to look at a range of opinions including professional ones. You assumed I meant you prodding him to a shrink. That might be an option at some point. What I meant was you should be going to one if you are truly interested in a long term relationship with an Aspie. Not for your issues, but to get informed information and professional advice on your suspicions. Good luck.
     
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  2. Ste11aeres

    Ste11aeres Moderator Staff Member

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    One thing I'd like to say: you said both of you are in your forties: by that age, most Aspies have gotten really really good at 'masking' themselves and fitting into the NT world. A lot of obvious Aspieness is more apparent during childhood, or at least at a comparatively young age. You seem to have a good understanding of this guy, and your ideas about what he is could very likely be correct. Supposing that he is an Aspie, it would be difficult for him to get diagnosed, when he's doing well in a profession, and relationship, etc.
     
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  3. Beverly

    Beverly Euthanasia Redux V.I.P Member

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    You could make spending time with you easier and, more rejuvenating for him easily. Take an interest in the things he is most interested in other than his career and, offer to do those things with him. Even if that's looking up facts about something or someone, listening to music you really don't like or, talking about his favorite sport, drawing baseballs on the bedroom wall if that gets him to laugh and relax.

    I've got an Aspie friend the loves doing graffiti, we have garfitti'ed my house inside a couple of times. That's his thing when he's on overload, it works and, he's actually pretty good. Not sure I liked my neon pink and orange den and my blue and red bedroom that day but, hey he was happy and laughing and, relaxed by the time it was done.

    It's cool my thing is cooking and he never complains when I mess up his kitchen cooking for six hours because I got overloaded, even though it's his food and him going to the store to get me more things to cook.

    Just imagine when we both get overloaded at the same time, we get tons of food on graffiti painted plates on a grafitti'ed table or, we make graffiti out of the food. LOL

    Hey, Aspies can be quirky but, learn to laugh and enjoy that side of us and, you'll have a blast with us.
     
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  4. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Sometimes it may simply be in your best interest to just accept the existence of certain traits and behaviors and be aware of them rather than attempt to rationalize them. We aren't Vulcans. We can be just as illogical as the next person...whatever their neurology may be. The reality may also be that it makes no sense to him either. Which may explain a "loop"...or circular discussion.

    We can be aware of our individual traits and behaviors, but there is no guarantee that we might be able to address them in whole- or in part.
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2016
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  5. Beverly

    Beverly Euthanasia Redux V.I.P Member

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    I agree, some of me makes no sense to me but, oh well, I don't have to make sense 100% of the time, some things just are and, I can live with that.
     
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  6. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Yes, I was just thinking of my inability to process incoming sarcasm. I'm very much aware of it. Yet I'm powerless to make it stop...much like some of my OCD issues which most assuredly make absolutely no sense at all.

    In my world, in such cases the best I can do is to simply acknowledge that it happened, and move on from there without dwelling on it. People usually want to rationalize why things happen, but in some instances it's simply not to be. Very difficult to explain to those who don't experience such things.
     
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  7. Beverly

    Beverly Euthanasia Redux V.I.P Member

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    I know exactly what you mean Judge. Why do I understand risqué humor with no problem yet, 99% of knock knock jokes and innocent humor fly right over my head? No clue but, it is what it is. Why can the parsley flakes and oregano be in the cupboard but, the garlic and basil have to be on the counter top? I don't know but, my kitchen is all messed up if it isn't that way.

    Why do I have to have a pink, red and purple rhinestone hidden inside my guitar at all times? Beats me but, if they aren't there, the whole guitar feels off to me. it's also totally off if any of my stones are visible to the audience.

    Why on earth does a live hard, play hard, party hard rocker chick like me distress by cooking and being totally domestic? *shrug* no idea but, that's just my thing.

    Why do I have to use hand sanitizer, then wash my hands after using it whenever I use a public restroom? Just my quirk, I'm not afraid of germs, I'll eat with dirty hands after setting up the stage, gardening, petting animals, shaking hands with numerous people, even w/o washing after using my bathroom at home but, a public bathroom and I have do my thing before I leave. (yes port-a-potties with no sink available drive me insane.)
     
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  8. lfields1

    lfields1 New Member

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    The thing is I can not accept not having my emotional needs met in someway. I can not forsake my emotional needs because he doesn't 'get it'. NT women get those needs met directly from romantic relationships, so it's not something I can just accept and forsake like learning to accept someone being comfortable with leaving the cap of the toothpaste or deciding not to use my dishes. It is a core function of a romantic relationship.

    I want to find a way to communicate that to him so he can be more aware and do his best to address that. I want him to try and make an effort to fulfill a few of those needs. It is very important to me and 98% of the NT women out here and I need to communicate just how important it is and I think he is capable of that. If he is open to relationship with NT women - whether it's with me long-term or not it gonna come up again, and again and again. I just want to make sure I'm being clear, direct and approachable about what we can do about this that is realistic for him and acceptable for me.
     
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  9. lfields1

    lfields1 New Member

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    we are having our issues in the relationship and the main thing is the emotional awareness and time management as in making more time for me. I don't think those things are insurmountable, just need to find a way to draw his attention to these issues and find out what is reasonable and non-burdensome for him and acceptable for me.
     
  10. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Exactly. You're not a Vulcan either. ;)

    Sounds like you'll just have to "dig deep" to determine precisely what it is that he doesn't "get". But just understand there is the possibility that it may involve something that is beyond him. Not the best outcome, but one you should potentially be aware of.

    Above all, consider on focusing how he actually feels (in his own words) and what he truly thinks. Not how he "appears". You'll just have to try to draw it out of him.
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2016
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  11. Beverly

    Beverly Euthanasia Redux V.I.P Member

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    You are right and, you shouldn't forsake your needs for anyone. I know how trying it can be, I've had two NT husbands, two Aspie LTR one NT LTR. I tend not to show affection as NTs do. I will cook, use air fresheners and home scents he likes, let him arrange the furniture as he likes, even though I detest the changes, lay out his clothes for the next day, etc.. but, I'm not a hug and kiss when he walks in the door sort or a sex very often at all sort. (more or less asexual.)

    I don't ask a lot of questions about how his day went or what his plans are. I assume he will simply tell me if he wants me to know and, I'm not going to pry. Now if he tells me exactly what he needs and, when it is acceptable to him that I give him those things, I will gladly do so but, I don't know instinctively to do those things and, since I have no need of such things, I can't guess if he does or not. If I'm in a bad mood or stressed out, I want to be left alone. My partner may not but, unless he tells me I don't know that.

    Saying "I don't feel as if you're trying to meet my emotional needs." Get and okay, so? reaction from me as does "some affection now and then would be nice." Great you told me what I'm doing wrong and what you want but, not specifically when or how you want it. Give me detailed instructions. I can't read your mind and, I know you don't think like I do so, you have to be specific.

    Now if he tells me "Hey, I'd really like to cuddle for a few minutes before we sleep each night and, a welcome home kiss would be great and, when you see me scowling, just ask me what's going on with me." Oh, okay, of course, no problem, I see what you need from me now. Should I tell you how I feel about you more often or, tell you if I thought about you that day when you come home?

    It isn't that I don't feel affectionate toward my partner or that I don't care what he needs, but, I have now way of knowing what he needs if I am not told and, I don't know how he would like me to show affection, what he would interpret as affection, positive touch, the right things to do to him and, I don't know when he might want me to do those things unless he tells me. After a few months of being told, I catch on and learn to read his non verbal signals for wanting those things better and, I'll do them based on that, it's getting to that point that I know is rough on NTs with me.

    Really all I ask is that my partner not push me for those things when I'm overloaded and, yes that means I have to remember to actually tell him I need time to process before I can be in it for him again. He's got to understand that and give me that time. Even better if he's willing to learn how to help me process and de stress faster, then we can get back to being us a lot sooner but, it is a learning process and it demands open, honest communication on both sides.

    With not confronting the possibility that he is an Aspie, that might not be possible for you. I hate to say that but, that might be a major road block for the both of you.
     
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  12. lfields1

    lfields1 New Member

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    I can't bring that subject up right now, but eventually it will happen.
     
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  13. sisselcakes

    sisselcakes Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I've wondered the same about my BF. He has lots of traits. I'm really curious to know if he has an ASD diagnosis; however, recently I decided that whether he is technically on the spectrum or not, this is him. This is how he is, so I have to see if I am able and willing to work on the relationship, being realistic about his strengths and weaknesses. I would love for both he and I to know in order to enhance our awareness but it's not time for me to broach the subject - yet.

    For now, his willingness to take my concerns to heart, are of the utmost importance. I think that regardless of whether of whether a diagnosis is official or not, reading as much as possible helps with understanding, empathy, and ways to approach the traits that may bother you. Ultimately, I think we have to decide what we need and if we can get our needs met in this relationship, which is true with any relationship.

    I have asked my boyfriend why he never compliments me. He tended to insult me more than say positive things, but I realized the insults are not intentional. When I've asked him to break them down and I finally determine what he meant, it's nothing like what it sounded like coming out of his mouth. My therapist pointed out that shy people aren't good with words, sort of "Aspergery", he said. That was the first seed planted in my head that made me start considering the possibility of ASD.

    I think about your BF's job as an instructor. He's around people all day. Must be absolutely exhausting for him - the crowds, noises, and social interactions. Yet, I can imagine how it would feel to schedule time to be with him because I just want to be someone when I feel like it.

    With regard to emotional needs, my BF just doesn't get it. I've asked him questions related to feelings and he says "I don't understand what you mean". I'm thinking, as someone said, earlier that "emotional needs" is too vague. What you need may need to be spelled out in detail if you've not already tried that.

    We had an incident in which no matter how I tried to explain that he was taking someone else's side in a situation in which I was the victim, it was like talking to a callous brick wall because he was being "logical", according to him. It wasn't until I started crying that he got it. It was immediately then that he softened, hugged me, and seemed compassionate. It took that signal for him to get it. It seemed so odd to me.

    One other quick example and I'll stop blabbing. Here's another situation in which he missed my emotional needs. I was crying about an incident with my family. He kissed me and said he loved me before jumping in the shower which was very sweet. I was still upset about it when he came out, yet he said to me, "is there a reason you don't flush the toilet"? in a cold tone. (It was only #1 and as if I make a habit of it.) I countered, "bad timing" sternly. I explained how, due to water restrictions when I lived in a small town, we didn't flush when we peed so sometimes I forget. He answered rudely, "Well, you don't live there anymore." Now it's kind of funny.

    I asked him to apologize and he refused to because he said the toilet issue "bothered" him and what he said was legitimate. I tried to explain that people apologize to each other when they hurt each others' feelings even if it isn't intentional. He didn't get it and would not say he was sorry. I was ready to break up with him and then my anger passed when I was able to process is intellectually.

    It's a challenge. I understand!

    Good luck!
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2016
  14. lfields1

    lfields1 New Member

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    Thanks for the encouragement. I love my guy so I'm going to try hard to work through those challenges. :)
     
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  15. sisselcakes

    sisselcakes Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Have you read any books? I started Asperger Syndrome and Long Term Relationships. It's written by the wife of a man diagnosed with AS. It's very enlightening so far. Has helped me with awareness and she shares the ways she has managed certain challenges in her marriage.

    I also have been listening to the audio book The Journal of Best Practices, written by a husband diagnosed with AS. It helps give perspective and is hilarious. I realize your BF is not in the same place as the author but it's good for comic relief. Sometimes levity is a good thing. (Not trying to minimize your concerns. Hope you know what I mean) :)
     
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  16. lfields1

    lfields1 New Member

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    I've read "Loving someone with Asperger's Syndrome: Understanding and Connecting with your Partner".

    Thank you for the additional resources, where can I purchase a copy of that audio book?
     
  17. sisselcakes

    sisselcakes Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Amazon :). I listen to it through Audible while I'm driving.
     
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  18. lfields1

    lfields1 New Member

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    As I've been reading through forum posts over the last couple of days. A lot of this is starting to make sense to me now. After reading similar threads and other threads in the relationship forum, I'm starting to feel 99.9% positive my assessment of him being an Aspie is spot-on. For example one AS poster talked about her long term marriage and how her husband agreed to have separate bedrooms and how this arrangement has helped their relationship. This is exactly what I detailed in my original post - in my list of some of his behaviors.

    I thought it was kind of odd but felt maybe he was a little like me, where I tend to be very independent and like to have my own space at home - kind of like my own "woman cave/office" where no one moves or touches my personal belonging (I'm a graphic designer, I make jewelry, sew, all things creative). However I have no problem sharing my bedroom space as long as I have a separate room for my work related stuff. I also contributed him having his own bedroom to needing space due to being a writer/author and also time needed for publishing, researching and writing on his field as a professor. However, I didn't expect his bedroom to turn into a kind of bunker. I did have to talk to him about keeping his door open more and/or coming out of his 'protected space' to share himself with me for a few minutes a day.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2016
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  19. unsurewhattoname

    unsurewhattoname Well-Known Member

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    How do you focus on both successfully?
     
  20. artfull dodger

    artfull dodger Well-Known Member

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    I would call him Aspie, sounds almost exactly like me other than sports. Replace the sports special interest with my model trains. The explosive temper(meltdowns), reclusive, needing downtime after a night out. All so typical of me. I am not tech savy, but more mechanicaly gifted. I have no filter, socialy clueless most of the time. Also need to be told point blank when my wife needs support( I am getting better noticing this on my own). I do not like being touched, espicaly when sleeping or not the one initating the touching. I hate being hugged. I am professionaly diagnosed but also took a couple of the online quizes and they confirmed what was already diagnosed professionaly. I took the AQ test first, 50 questions, anything over a score of 31 indicates autism and further testing needed. I scored a 43. Next is the "Aspie Quiz", my scores on that are listed in my signature below. If you can get him to take them, it might open up some lines of communication. Once my wife started learning how to better communicate with me, and I started to learn how to better cope, did our marriage get off the rocks. Mike
     
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